- Leonard da Vinci's 500-year-old illustrations of the human anatomy are surprisingly accurate.
- Da Vinci was off, however, in his illustrations of the female reproductive anatomy.
- The artist likely only had access to male cadavers.
Leonardo da Vinci's 500-year-old illustrations of human anatomy are uncannily accurate with just one major exception: the female reproductive system.
That's probably because Leonardo had a tough time finding female corpses to dissect, explains Peter Abrahams, a practicing physician at the University of Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom.
Abrahams, a clinical anatomist, has lent his knowledge to an audio tour of the exhibit of Leonardo's anatomical drawings that opened May 4 in Buckingham Palace.
The Italian Renaissance artist learned anatomy as a way to improve his drawings of the human form, but he also brought a scientist's eye to the discipline.
"He wanted to understand how it worked," Abrahams told LiveScience. "He looked at humans like a mechanic would do. Most of that work is very, very relevant today." [Anatomy Meets Art: Da Vinci's Drawings]